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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2282
Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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My son, age 24, as of this afternoon, has two little pieces

Resolved Question:

My son, age 24, as of this afternoon, has two little pieces of rusty metal in his eye. It is bothering him alot especially when he tries to close his eye. We just returned home from going to the emergency room at Carle Hospital in Champaign, Il. where a doctor put in some numbing drops to look at his eye, told him that he has one piece on the dark brown part of his eye and another on the outer edge of his eye; That BOTH ARE IMBEDDED IN THE EYE; prescribed hydrocodone and some antibiotic eye drops; told him to come back at 11 AM in the morning to see an eye doctor that will basically use a drill to remove the pieces of metal from his eye. From what I have read it is very important to remove the rusty metal very quickly to prevent rust from forming and also that a drill can cause alot of damage to the eye! I am so worried and don't know what to do! It is 1 AM in the morning, this happened probably about 10 to 12 hours ago; it will be 11 AM before an eye doctor will look at him. Your eyes and eyesight are so precious!!!!!! I don't want to be stupid here and have big regrets later! Also, I don't think that the back of his eyelid was checked and I am wondering if he has something sticking in the back of it causing the uncomfortableness when closing his eye. Please Help?!?!?!?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. James replied 2 years ago.

Dr. James :

Hello.

Dr. James :

When did he get the pieces of metal in his eye?

Dr. James :

What was he doing?

Customer:

He had been grinding on a piece of equipment at the fertilizer plant where he works, not sure if it was a fertilizer spreader, sprayer or what and as I said it was in this past afternoon.

Dr. James :

It should be ok for him to wait to be seen by an ophthalmologist in the morning.

Dr. James :

It is best to have the foreign body removed by a specialist rather than try to do it in the ER in the middle of the night.

Dr. James :

most rust will start to from about 2 to 3 days after.

Dr. James :

Depending on what the metal looks like, i usually use a needle tip to remove it. if it does not come off in one piece, then i use a rotating burr to remove the rest.

Customer:

That is one thing I am very worried about. From what I have read the needle is the best choice but the rotating burr sounds like it can cause alot of damage to the eye, is that correct?

Dr. James :

it depends on the foreign body.

Dr. James :

if it is one solid piece, then a needle is good. if it breaks up in multiple fragments, then a drill is good.

Customer:

Does the drill damage the tissue to cause scar tissue and any loss of vision?

Dr. James :

the drill can cause scarring of the cornea. Depends on how deep the foreign body is.

Dr. James :

unfortunately, there is not much of a choice. If it does not come out with the needle, then i use a drill. the other choice is to leave the foreign body behind.

Customer:

Are those the only options for removal? Isn't there any type of magnet type device opthamologists have for something like this?

Dr. James :

it's usually not the metal, but the rust that forms that is hard to remove in one piece.

Dr. James :

since it is early, there is likely very little rust that may have formed.

Dr. James :

even if a drill is needed for removal, it's not a bad option.

Dr. James :

Do you have any other questions I can help you with today?

Customer:

I feel sick at my stomach! This sounds like a trip to Hell, so barbaric, with the possibility of very dangerous results! How do we know that the opthamologist is very experienced and good at this procedure?

Dr. James :

It's a fairly routine procedure for ophthalmologist and almost all are well versed in the procedure.

Dr. James :

The description may be barbaric, but it's a quite elegant procedure. imagine removing a tiny piece of meta with the tiny tip of a needle.

Dr. James :

Though we call it a drill, it's really a rotating ball that is diamond dusted.

Dr. James :

Try not to worry to much about it. Trust in the doctors to do their jobs. Removing corneal foreign bodies and rust is not complicated.

Customer:

I wish I could feel better but I don't. I pray that this will turn out OK.

Dr. James :

he should be fine.

Dr. James :

Please remember to press accept so I can get credit for assisting you today.

Dr. James :

Do you have any other questions I can help you with today?

Dr. James :

Hello?

Customer:

Not right now.

Dr. James :

Get some rest, your son should be fine.

Dr. James :

Please remember to press accept so I can get credit for assisting you today.

Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2282
Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon
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